Here is the flash fiction story I have entered into Flash Mob 2013, an international 'hybrid blog carnival and competition celebrating International Flash Fiction Day'. Links to the stories entered in the Flash Mob will be published on 20th June 2013, kicking off a blog flash fiction carnival! More information on the Flash Mob here.
Behind the holly tree there’s a hollow space. You have to crouch down so you don’t get your hair caught in the leaves. The ivy’s run wild, heaped up on the fence, going upwards and skywards, over the tops of the trees. It’s a menace, that ivy, Dada says, but he does nothing about it. And the more nothing he does, the worse it gets. In the spring, the ivy’s full of robins’ nests and the cat sits below it, alert and chittering, but she catches none. Which is just as well, because Dada says the next time she brings home something dead, she can pick her window. Pick your window, you’re leaving, he says when he’s fed up with you.
I’m sitting in the hollow behind the holly when I hear Dada and Mammy fighting upstairs in the house. Their bedroom window’s wide open, a tongue of net curtain lapping in and out in the breeze. There’ll be no more of these shenanigans, I hear Dada say, and then Mammy laughs. Shenanigans? she says, It’s gone beyond shenanigans, I love him.
And then I hear Dada shouting again, though I can’t make out the words because the wind has got up and the sound of it in the big beech tree is deafening. I start to crawl out, but the holly snags my sweater, and it’s my school sweater so I have to stop to get myself free without putting another hole in it. And then the wind drops and I hear Mammy scream, an angry scream followed by a scared one, and then it’s quiet and then there’s a thud – a thud that’s heavy and soft both at the same time, and I know, without looking, that someone’s picked their window.